Google Algorithm Updates - 2021 Ongoing Discussion

Ryuzaki

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Possible Update: May 7th to 9th, 2021

Semrush:
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RankRanger:
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Taken with a grain of salt but someone in a comment section said they think it might be a rollback of some April changes:

TMxLUbH.jpg


Not seeing any effect (yet?) on my end.
 
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I got hit with something on Sunday. 25% google traffic hit
 

Ryuzaki

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Possible Update: May 18th to 20th, 2021

CognitiveSEO
TYeKEJg.png


RankRanger
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SemRush
T2ILSIb.png


This one has definitely been rolling out and may be a continuation of the May 13th to May 15th fiasco. I've caught wind of people gaining and people losing and people bouncing in the past week. Seems your typical "targeted nothing in particular but tweaked broad values" type of update. Anyone concur?

Other Minor Updates That Went Unmentioned:
• April 23rd to 24th
• April 30th to May 1st
• May 13th to 15th
 

bernard

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Seems fairly quiet to me. No big movements, but lots of strange in and out of the index.
 
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Saw a nice jump in the SERPs for my 5.5 month old authority site. Over 90 articles got indexed in the top 100 with many also cracking the top 30 for their primary keyword. Most/all of this happened on May 17th. While I haven't seen a large increase in traffic as a result, I believe these articles are now beginning the sandbox stage and should hopefully climb slowly in the SERPs and eventually convert to traffic.

Also had 4 high-comp keywords finally crack the top 100 for their primary phrase. These articles have been published for ~3 months already so that certainly felt like a little win.

Screen-Shot-2021-05-20-at-6-45-54-PM.png
 
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I have the opposite problem. The last post I created 10 days ago is still not indexed. Usually, it takes a couple of hours. I requested the indexing twice already.
 

illmasterj

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I have the opposite problem. The last post I created 10 days ago is still not indexed. Usually, it takes a couple of hours. I requested the indexing twice already.
It's 1 page, chill. Over time you will see phases where they index immediately and rank well, index but don't rank for months, or not index for months and then burst out the gate after an update. Just stick with the plan and keep publishing.
 

Ryuzaki

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Possible Update: May 22nd, 2021
Roll-back of some of the Product Reviews update?


I'm noticing a site of mine that lost about 1.5k pageviews a day to product reviews pages have gained back about 750 of that. I started looking online to see if anyone else had noticed this and, yes, they had.

However, the SERP "weather reports" are all looking insane. Something does appear to have landed yesterday but I'm hesitant to even share the charts because it's so crazy I'm thinking it's one of those cases where Google tweaked some of their HTML or whatever and the trackers haven't caught on yet:

SERPmetrics
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Semrush
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CognitiveSEO
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I could be wrong, but I'm thinking two things are happening here at once: broken trackers and some amount of rollback of the Product Reviews update.

Anyone seeing similar or differently?
 

bernard

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Yes, it seems like some reversal.

My site that recovered from the December 6th, lost some positions again.
 
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My site has been hit hard by this update! Traffic is down by about 70% compared to last week - not to mention, the traffic I've lost was a lot more valuable than the traffic I've kept.

Anyone seeing any patterns here? I've been looking at who's winning in my niche but unfortunately I don't have too many competitors to reverse engineer - in quite a few SERPs Reddit and YouTube have over taken me.

I had assumed this update would be a page-level algorithm change, i.e. pages that met Google's criteria for product reviews would perform better, and vice versa. But when I look at some of the keywords I have lost - and one particular competitor has won - I'm not my sure my content meets Google's criteria any less than theirs.

What I have done is count all of the posts on my competitors' websites. They're running more than 50% info content. My balance was more like 75% money - and I will admit some of it was quite thin - and 25% info. I wonder whether I have been penalized at a site level for this - I know @Ryuzaki draws attention to content balance in the Kitchen Sink method.

Yesterday I deleted 60 money posts from my website that were receiving less than 10 visitors a month. Most of them were outside my focus niche, in "shoulder niches", so they were probably hurting my topical relevance too. I hope I can republish them at a later date - just with a little more finesse, topical relevance, and info content to balance it out.

I'm left with 64% money and 36% info - so I'm thinking I'll order a bunch of info posts to get that to a 50:50 balance. Then I want to go through the money content I have lost out the most on this update, and have it rewritten to sound more "hands-on" - coming back to improvements on the page level.

Other than that, I have a few outstanding items in the Kitchen Sink method I will be implementing. I must admit, I sometimes dislike the open-endedness of SEO. Like, with making sure your site has no JS errors or 404 pages, it's pretty concrete and finite. But where do I draw the line with interlinking? With adding HTML tags (tables, lists, images, etc) to posts?
I was going through this thread today to give me some ideas as to what steps to take next (basically what type of content to publish) after my site got killed in December. Traffic went down around 60% initially then some more.

I followed the strategies outlined in the "Kitchen Sink" thread here and now I'm using the Avalanche technique as well. The problem is my site is about 50-50 informational/commercial content and it still got hit badly whereas a competing site (classic deep but narrow site with the product name in the URL) which is basically a standalone silo for one type of product with ZERO informational content but reviews of what seem to be all the products in the niche is doing great and did not seem to be hit by the December algo update at all. In fact, it seems to rank in the top ten for all or most of the keywords I'm now researching, with a DR of less than 10 and frequently vs. strong competitors in the DR > 50 range.

So now I'm at a crossroads. I had been working on the same silo as the competitor mentioned above (although my site is much broader) and am not sure what type of content to publish in the short and medium term (because that's what I'm focusing on now to try to revive the site). Most of what I have read related to the December update talks about publishing more info. content as opposed to reviews, but my site seems balanced and KGR info. keywords are more difficult to find in the subniche of the silo. On the other hand, publishing more reviews would go against most of the advice given on how to bounce back from the update, but KGR keywords are easier to find. There is also the matter of the competitor, who, as said, seems to have written single product reviews about every such product on the face of the earth, so I'm not sure if I want to invest that much in having so many review pieces written when it's against the common advice...

Any light-shedding on this would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers!
 
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I was going through this thread today to give me some ideas as to what steps to take next (basically what type of content to publish) after my site got killed in December. Traffic went down around 60% initially then some more.

I followed the strategies outlined in the "Kitchen Sink" thread here and now I'm using the Avalanche technique as well. The problem is my site is about 50-50 informational/commercial content and it still got hit badly whereas a competing site (classic deep but narrow site with the product name in the URL) which is basically a standalone silo for one type of product with ZERO informational content but reviews of what seem to be all the products in the niche is doing great and did not seem to be hit by the December algo update at all. In fact, it seems to rank in the top ten for all or most of the keywords I'm now researching, with a DR of less than 10 and frequently vs. strong competitors in the DR > 50 range.

So now I'm at a crossroads. I had been working on the same silo as the competitor mentioned above (although my site is much broader) and am not sure what type of content to publish in the short and medium term (because that's what I'm focusing on now to try to revive the site). Most of what I have read related to the December update talks about publishing more info. content as opposed to reviews, but my site seems balanced and KGR info. keywords are more difficult to find in the subniche of the silo. On the other hand, publishing more reviews would go against most of the advice given on how to bounce back from the update, but KGR keywords are easier to find. There is also the matter of the competitor, who, as said, seems to have written single product reviews about every such product on the face of the earth, so I'm not sure if I want to invest that much in having so many review pieces written when it's against the common advice...

Any light-shedding on this would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers!

From what I see, I personally think it hasn't anything to do with info/commercial intent (it might be a combination of thing though).

What matters a lot now is gaining topical relevance and you need to cover everything on a given topic and focus more on topics instead of keywords.

Yes this means you have to write about things that most likely will never rank or bring in any traffic but that does not mean these articles are useless at all. They help insanely well to get more topical relevance/authority on a topic, and perhaps those articles will rank eventually as well.

If you have an affiliate website around physical products you should have a look at how The Wirecutter is writing their articles. They are only reviewing like 3-5 products per article but they cover every aspect of it. And ideally (not 100% needed if you stay on topic) you also search for and write related articles to them.

Now here's why at the start I said that I don't think it has anything to do with an info/commercial content ratio is that I have a website that only produces affiliate articles and it ranks (or start to rank again) just fine and this is purely because the articles are very related to each other and interlinked well.

I already listed in some other articles, but you should have a look at Semantic SEO and how it works, as this might be something for you as well.

I'm a bit in a rush atm, so I might haven't explained some things very well, but hopefully it's helpful for you.
 

bernard

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@dlangpap

Two things to consider:

1. Quality

Is your site content as good as the competition? Be brutally honest. Is it good? Would you feel comfortable showing your site to your grandmother?

2. Links

How is your link profile?

I have nothing specific to base this on yet, but I feel fairly sure that authority = good links, can give you a higher treshold for getting hit by these updates.
 

bernard

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Looks like there is a major update going on. I'm seeing some huge jumps, mostly up, but a few down.
 

Ryuzaki

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Looks like there is a major update going on. I'm seeing some huge jumps, mostly up, but a few down.

You're right. Google announced...

Update: June 2nd, 2021
"The June 2021 Core Update"

HeMqISw.png

This update will be closely followed by another in July as a part 2:

"Some of our planned improvements for the June 2021 update aren’t quite ready, so we’re moving ahead with the parts that are, then we will follow with the rest with the July 2021 update. Most sites won’t notice either of these updates, as is typical with any core updates.”​
We'll see just how "unnoticable" it really is. It'll take time to fully roll out, I'm sure. All of the "sensors" are showing calm waters lately:

wyMtSnz.png
 

bernard

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It had huge jumps for some pages, but most were untouched, so that's interesting to me.
 

bernard

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This update is intense!

Very volatile, big swings day to day.

Seems like they are really fiddling with some big signals.
 
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Yeah it's a big one yes.

One of my sites doubled it's traffic overnight. Another one doing better as well and a 3rd one is getting less traffic.

5a89fb2b76.png


Though I'm in the middle of an SEO campaign for two of those sites and the effect of that should kick in around this time so I'm not sure if it's because of the update or the SEO kicking in or a combination of that.

But it's certainly a big update it seems yes.

Overall I seem to benefit from this update for now, however it's still very early in of course.
 

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Yup this ones big. From what I've been hearing it's related to Core Web Vitals becoming an actual signal. I haven't been fucked by any updates for 2 years but lost 25% of my daily traffic compared to June 2 and before. Have seen a quite a few drops in rankings.

My CWV are decent, have done a lot of tweaking for speed over the last year. But recently about 50% of my urls started showing "need improvement" for Largest Contentful Paint on mobile.
 

bernard

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Yup this ones big. From what I've been hearing it's related to Core Web Vitals becoming an actual signal. I haven't been fucked by any updates for 2 years but lost 25% of my daily traffic compared to June 2 and before. Have seen a quite a few drops in rankings.

I hope it isn't CWV, but it could be.

Do you have a link to any credible SEO's who say this?
 
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I hope it isn't CWV, but it could be.

Do you have a link to any credible SEO's who say this?

No I believe it's not related to CWV, that is scheduled for mid June.

At least that's what I have been reading a while ago, can't remember the source though.
 

Ryuzaki

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I agree this is big. One of my sites lost about 25% and another gained about 33%, so it's all equal but it does hurt my feelings that one dropped. The way I see it is there will be an adjustment as usual around another week and a half from now that will reverse some of this, and then there will be "part 2" in July that will either double down on the good and bad, or do some more reversal. I just wanted to chime in and say "yeah, it's big, and it's still on-going".
 
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Are the core updates rolled out on a global level or in Google US first? I'm ranking in Google Germany, but couldn't see decrease or increases in rankings.